Newsletter 25th October 2019

Great South Run

A total of 54 competitors registered as Chichester Runners & AC members, many of them running the distance for the first time and with 45 of them using the Club Zone area, lined up with the nearly 20,000 competitors at the 30th running of the Great South Run at Southsea, Portsmouth on Sunday 20th October 2019.

In view of the recent stormy weather, conditions were as near to perfect as can be expected at this time of year, epitomised by the run of Eilish McColgan in the elite women’s race who broke her mother’s previous course record of 52 minutes set in 1997 with a time of 51.38, a time that stands only second on the UK all-time list behind Paula Radcliffe’s 51.11 in 2008.

For Chichester. Harry Leleu was given a number for the elite men’s start and fully justified the faith of the organisers although he paid the price of an enforced fast start over the second half of the course to come home in 33rd position in 53.08, marginally slower than his target time although for a first ever race over 10 miles, the Chichester Runners 10K record holder was satisfied with his debut performance.

Chichester were delighted to have fellow triathlete Will Grace also in the top 50 and, after battling to get a good position in the massed start, Will crossed the finish line in 54.57, also a PB and good enough for 41st place. A further five club members were within the 70-minute barrier with Keith Akerman 211th in 63.04 (we understand a PB by nearly 4 minutes), Mikey Neville 237th in 63.39, Simon Castrey 453rd in 67.33, Richard Holder 509th in 68.11 (we understand a PB by 8 minutes) and Richard Pullen 543rd in 68.36.

The first two women for Chichester crossing the line did so together with Emma Wickens and Jo Prosser both timed at 77.47, which gave them 1842nd and 1843rd in the whole field and just outside the top 250 women to finish. Not far behind was Nicky Hill in 78.19 to give the club three women in the top 300. With nearly forty of the club’s finishers in the top half of the field, there were many satisfied faces at the end of 10 miles concentrated effort.

Brilliant running by all with many PBs but space sadly prevents us recording everyone. 

Exmoor Stagger

While many of the club were enjoying the flat roads of Portsmouth and Southsea, James Baker took his annual pilgrimage to Minehead for the 12th running of the 15.1 miles Exmoor Stagger, so called as the course starts at sea level and climbs to the highest point on Exmoor, the famous Dunkery Beacon before descending to the finish.

First lining up for the race in 2010, James has stamped his authority on the event in equal measure to the Chichester Half Marathon, which poses a similar challenge. Having won on the previous nine years James was keen to make it ten in a row and was delighted to achieve the feat crossing the line in 1.50.56, forty-five seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

James thought that his chance had gone as a 2.36 marathon runner from Weston AC was ahead for much of the race but the event requires a degree of navigation on the part of the athletes and James’ attention to detail was rewarded when the man in front missed a turning and lost a few hundred meters. This should not detract from the Chichester man’s achievement, however as the pair were a full 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the field and James has now accounted for over half the sub 2-hour times in the history of the event.

The 42-year-old will be hoping that he can stay fit and competitive until the Chichester Half in 2021 to make it another ten in a row on his home course. A footnote to the multi race winner who is now has well over 900 race wins over all terrains and distances and not to miss an opportunity, James finished first at the Upton House parkrun in Poole on his way down to the West Country.


Three members went the whole hog last weekend and did marathons at three different locations. Justin Eggins proudly wearing his England Vest finished in 1158th place with a sub-three-hour time of 2.56.54 in the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon. It was Lisbon for Graham Woodward with a 3.09.53 clocking in 219th place, whilst Matt Fewtrell went to Holland for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon finishing in a time of 4.39.35. Excellent running by all.  

Training/Activities for next 7 days.  

Monday 28th Octobersee below.

Foundation Group – Meet at 6:30 pm for a 6:45 pm start in Clubroom 2 at The Pavilion, Chichester College. Led by Vicky and the team.

Development Group Meet at 6:30 pm for a prompt start in Clubroom 2 at The Pavilion, Chichester College. This session led by Tom and Marcus will be a “meet and greet” in front of the college.     

Beginners’ GroupFinal week of an eight-week course with a 6:30 pm in Clubroom 2 at The Pavilion, Chichester College and we wish everyone well as they aim to run continuously for 30 minutes. This course is being led by the Foundation Group Team with Vicky Balandis the contact (vickybal75@gmail.com)

Stretch Class Eighth week of course in the upstairs Multi Use Gym Studio at the Chichester College from 7:45 pm. Duration one hour. Class managed by Graham Woodward (gwoodward7@gmail.com).

Tuesday 29th October see below.

Event Group - Meet at 6:30 pm for a prompt start in Clubroom 2 at The Pavilion, Chichester College for a session led by Keith of 2 x 4mins (120s recovery), 3 x 3 mins (90s recovery) and 5 x 2 mins (60s recovery).

Wednesday 30th October – see below.   

Development Group – Meet at 6:30 pm for a prompt start in Clubroom 2 at The Pavilion, Chichester College for a jog up to Oaklands Park for a “just a minute” hill session (one- minute hard effort uphill with 90 seconds downhill recovery x 12). Session led by Tom.

Thursday 31st October – see below.

Club run led by Vicky suitable for all abilities with meet 6:30 pm in the car park for Tesco (Fishbourne).  

Friday 1st November – see below.

Beginners’ Group – “Leader” led session at 6:30 pm with meet outside The Pavilion, Chichester College. 

Yoga Classes First week of two separate new six-week courses led by Katie namely:


5:00 pm (attend at 4:45 pm please) in the upstairs Multi Use Gym Studio, Chichester College, and


7:00 pm at the Newell Centre, Tozer Way, (off St Pancras) Chi, PO19 7LG.


Classes managed by John (chichesterrunners@googlemail.com).



Orienteering – Message from Simon Thraves

“Orienteering is an exciting and challenging outdoor sport that exercises mind and body and is open to all ages. The aim is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map. In competitive orienteering the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time choosing your own best route.

With the kind permission of Chichester District Council, Chichester College, and Chichester University, Southdowns Orienteers are hosting an exciting urban event around the City and the College and University Campuses on Saturday 2nd November. There are courses to suit all ages and abilities, and you can walk or run them.

The event centre will be located in the grounds of Chichester College, Westgate Fields PO19 1SB. For more information please visit the events page on the Southdowns Orienteers website (www.southdowns-orienteers.org.uk). You can enter online or on the day of the event (subject to map availability).”


The club’s AGM is on Monday 18th November and formal notice will be circulated by email in early November. As in line with the Club’s Constitution all members of the Management Committee require re-election and it is open to any member who is proposed and seconded to stand for election. In addition, due to resignations there are two vacancies in any event. If anyone is interested in joining the team by bringing new emphasis and innovation to club affairs do discuss with a current Management Committee member.  

The times for the recent “One-Mile” time trial held in appalling conditions are at the foot of the “Winter Training” page of this website.

An early notification that next year's Sussex Track and Field Championships will be taking place on the weekend of 30th and 31st May at the K2, Crawley.

A reminder that the next Running Club Quiz is on Friday 29th November but if you cannot wait until then to test the brain cells then John is running a Quiz at the Bosham Village Hall on Friday 1st November. If interested, please contact John via the Contact Us facility of this website for more details.

There is a couple of places available for the “Friday” Yoga Class at 7:00 pm. Contact John if you are interested via the Contact Us facility of this website.

The WSFRL season finishes with the Steepdown Challenge this Sunday (27th) and the Gunpowder Plot at Horsham on Sunday 3rd November. As always pre-enter via Peter Anderson on either nadandpeter@btinternet.com or 07786 036820.

Good luck to everyone running over the next weekend to include on Saturday the Beachy Head Marathon and on Sunday the afore-mentioned WSFRL event at Lancing.